Archive for February, 2022


So my debut novel DELPHI is coming out in July in the UK and August in the US, and is also being translated into German and Dutch, which is immeasurably exciting and strange! I’ve been writing (unpublished) novels since I was a child and can’t quite believe I can finally call myself a novelist. Just over a year ago I was researching oracles and prophecy, thinking perhaps it would be a book of poetry, but all I seemed to have were these strange fragments. And then I read Jenny Offill’s Weather and suddenly had the revelation I was writing a novel. I was actually quite annoyed with myself, as after so many disappointments I thought that meant it would end up in a drawer. But I wrote it very quickly, in a kind of fever – as soon as home-schooling ended – sent it to my UK agent Jenny Hewson with an apologetic note, and was shocked when she responded that she would start sending it out. And now here’s a proof!

It’s kind of about the pandemic, but I hope that won’t put you off. (My US blurb calls it, in fact, ‘one of the first great novels of this terrible moment’, which is very flattering). I’ve just always written about now, and the idea that I might live through a major historical event and not touch on it seems very odd to me. Like Virginia Woolf not mentioning the First World War in Mrs Dalloway, or Graham Greene writing The End of the Affair but not mentioning the Blitz. It’s also about middle age, tarot cards, The Furies, the age of surveillance capitalism, dream interpretation, Nostradamus, algorithms, the language of angels, Cassandra and the meaning of life, so plenty to think about!

Some kind quotes I’m really thrilled with – Evie Wyld, author of the stunning The Bass Rock says: ‘A compact miracle of a book’

Doireann Ní Ghríofa, whose ‘A Ghost in the Throat’ was one of my recent favourites says: ‘Vivid as fireworks…Both terrifying and exhilarating’

And Forward prizewinning poet and author of ‘The Answer to Everything‘ Luke Kennard says: ‘Consoling, harrowing, hilarious. I feel like it’s healed me…So funny and so radically honest it leaves you reeling’

Kennard by-passing the usual superlatives there, and instead really raising the stakes by implying my novel has healing powers!

And look at these covers in this cute little animation. I’m so lucky. I keep going round bookshops now and seeing all the ropey covers and feeling very smug. (Thanks to my US agent Lucy Carson for this)

Apparently pre-orders make a huge difference these days, so if you would like to pre-order a copy I’d be incredibly grateful. It’s available on Amazon of course, and it’s very nice to get on their charts, but even better would be to preorder from bookshop.org in the UK then you can support your favourite local bookshop (in my case, my local the Review Bookshop in Peckham).

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